Partners Group sells 21% stake in Australian cancer research centre to AMP Capital

Partners Group

Swiss private equity major Partners Group has disposed of a 21 per cent stake in Australian cancer research, treatment and education centre Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) to Sydney-headquartered AMP Capital’s Community Infrastructure Fund.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The investment in Melbourne-based VCCC was made by Partners Group in February 2012 after being selected as part of the winning Plenary Health consortium by the Victorian Government in late 2011.

“With the facility now fully operational, and having received strong interest from potential buyers, Partners Group decided to divest its stake in this groundbreaking centre ahead of the original investment plan to an experienced investor with a long-term investment horizon and a socially responsible investment remit,” said Benjamin Haan, Partner, Head of Private Infrastructure Asia in an announcement on Monday.

The facility is Australia’s first dedicated, cancer research and treatment facility where the PPP project scope included the design, construction and commissioning of the facilities as well as their ongoing maintenance under a 25-year concession agreement.

The completed centre has 13 levels, 160 inpatient beds, 110 day beds and eight operating theatres, and can host up to 1,200 researchers. Plenary Health completed the VCCC at a total cost of AUD 1 billion and operations began in June 2016.

AMP Capital, the buyer, is an investment house with over A$130 billion in funds under management. The firm is engaged in investments in real estate and infrastructure and also provides its clients with solutions in fixed income, equities and multi-asset portfolios.

Its Community Infrastructure Fund is currently seeking to raise new equity and invests in an unlisted portfolio of PPP-style social infrastructure assets in Australia and New Zealand.

The fund focuses on social infrastructure PPP assets within education, health, justice, defence, community housing, recreational facilities, transport and other social infrastructure sectors where income from the assets is primarily derived from long-term, CPI-linked concession arrangements with government entities.

In December last year, the fund had increased its stake in Victorian Desalination Project, buying a 4.55 per cent stake from Suez, increasing its holding to 9.75 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Partners Group also added that it continues to be a supporter of Australian PPP projects on behalf of its clients.

In September 2014, it announced it was investing into the PPP project to build and operate the new Sydney Metro Northwest rail service for the New South Wales Government. Later in November 2016, it said it would be investing in Melbourne’s High Capacity Metro Trains PPP, an A$2 billion project to deliver 65 trains to the State of Victoria.

Partners Group, which has $75.5 billion in assets under management, established its presence in Australia over a decade ago. The firm last year received $16.2 billion (EUR 13.3 billion) in new commitments from its global client base across all private markets asset classes.

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